How Long Do Pinto Beans Take To Cook

How Long Do Pinto Beans Take To Cook

Learning how to cook pinto beans on the stove using two simple ingredients – dried pinto beans and water is a great way to enjoy this nutritious and versatile ingredient. Cooking pinto beans on the stove is easy, cheaper than buying the canned version, and makes the best creamy and tender pinto beans ever!

The Essential Ingredients

To cook pinto beans on the stove, there are only 2 ingredients you need: 1 pound dried pinto beans and water. Anything else you want to add is optional and extra. Once they’re cooked, they can be used in different recipes which is when other ingredients and seasonings can be added.

Other Seasonings and Aromatics

If you plan on eating your pinto beans as is and aren’t going to use them in any other recipes, you can season them while they’re cooking. Here are a few ingredients you can add to the pot to enhance their flavor: 1/2 onion, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 4 cloves garlic, and 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste.

Cooking Pinto Beans from Dried

First, sort and sift through the dried beans. Do this by pouring them in a large bowl and sifting through and discarding any beans that are shriveled up or split. Also look for any little rocks that may have been mixed in with the beans and discard those.

Next, soak the beans. Fill the bowl up with enough water for it to be at least 2 inches above the beans. Then let them sit on the counter for 8 hours or overnight.

After soaking, drain and rinse the beans. The beans will have plumped up and doubled in size during this time. While soaking beans takes patience and time, the end result is well worth it. Soaking cuts down on the overall cooking time, and helps them cook more evenly so they’re tender through and through.

To cook the beans, transfer the soaked beans to a large pot or Dutch oven along with 10 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, then cover and cook for 2 hours. Check the beans after 2 hours and give them a taste. They should be tender and creamy. If not, let them cook for another 15 to 30 minutes until they’re fully cooked.

Ways to Use Pinto Beans

While pinto beans can be enjoyed on their own, they can also be used to make some delicious recipes like Borracho Beans (Frijoles Borrachos), Easy Refried Beans, Charro Beans, and Creamy Bean Dip. They can also be used in burritos, with scrambled eggs, in breakfast tacos, or as a simple side.

How Long to Soak Pinto Beans

We have found that 6-8 hours is the optimal amount of time for soaking dry pinto beans. The longer you soak them, the more tender they will become, and the more likely they will split and separate during cooking. If you can’t get to them right away, simply drain, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

How Long to Cook Pinto Beans

How long it takes to cook pinto beans will depend on the freshness of your beans and how long you have soaked them. Beans that are old may have difficulty softening and require longer to cook. Once soaked for 6-8 hours, we find that pinto beans require about 40-50 minutes at a simmer to fully cook.

If you are looking to speed up the cooking time, you can use an Instant Pot to prepare this recipe. We recommend using this recipe as a guide for timing.

How to Season Pinto Beans

While seasonings are optional, we find it’s what helps elevate beans to be a dish worthy of enjoying on their own. Many traditional Mexican pinto bean recipes require bacon or ham hocks to prepare, but to keep ours plant-based, we relied on vegetable broth, garlic, onion, and diced tomatoes with green chilies, chili powder, cumin, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Batch Cooking Beans

This recipe yields about 5 cups cooked pinto beans, which you can enjoy throughout the week for super easy, quick meals. Or you can store leftovers in freezer-safe bags or jars to save for future meals.


1. Can I cook pinto beans without soaking them?

While soaking beans before cooking them on the stove improves the overall texture of the beans, it is not a deal-breaker if you don’t have time or simply forgot to do it. Your pintos will still be delicious, and much better than canned ones.

2. How long do cooked pinto beans last?

It is recommended to store the cooked pinto beans in an airtight container in the fridge with the water they are cooked in. This will help keep them moist and make sure they don’t dry out. Cooked beans will last about 1 week in the fridge.

3. Can I use broth instead of water to cook pinto beans?

Typically water is used to cook the beans, but broth could be substituted if you want to add a specific flavor. You could also add any type of seasonings in with the beans to create more flavor.

4. How can I speed up the cooking time for pinto beans?

If you are looking to speed up the cooking time, you can use an Instant Pot to prepare this recipe. We recommend using this recipe as a guide for timing.

5. What are the nutritional benefits of pinto beans?

Pinto beans are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, such as iron, potassium, and the B vitamins. They also have 15 grams of both protein and fiber in a single cup, helping you feel full longer. This can help with weight loss and help regulate your blood sugar.

6. Can I freeze cooked pinto beans?

Yes, you can store leftovers in freezer-safe bags or jars to save for future meals. Cooked pinto beans will keep in the freezer for 1 month (oftentimes longer).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top